Coronaviruses are a diverse family of viruses that can infect both humans and animals. Several types of coronaviruses cause mild upper respiratory illness in humans. Others, such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, can cause more severe respiratory illness.
In late 2019, a novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2 emerged in China. This virus has since spread to many other countries throughout the world. An infection with SARS-CoV-2 causes a respiratory illness called COVID-19.
COVID-19 can have potentially serious complications, such as trouble breathing and pneumonia. Because of this, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and how they differ from other conditions.
Continue reading to learn more about the symptoms of COVID-19, how they differ from other respiratory conditions, and what you should do if you think you’ve become ill.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average incubation period for SARS-CoV-2 is 4 daysTrusted Source. However, it can range anywhere from 2 to 14 days.
Not everyone with a SARS-CoV-2 infection will feel unwell. It’s possible to have the virus and not develop symptoms. When symptoms are present, they’re typically mild and develop slowly. The most common symptoms are: